No NaNoWriMo This Year

I had hoped to be drafting book four of the Chessman series for NaNoWriMo this year, but I’m still deep in the edits for Oaths of My Fathers. However, I am making progress on that, and I may be reaching out to the mailing list for beta readers by Thanksgiving.

And by the way, I haven’t settled on the title for book four. My initial plan had been to title it Sins of My Fathers, but since I want to keep a similar look for all the covers, I’m not sure how well I can make such a short word as “Sins” fill the same space as Ships, Debts, and Oaths. My backup title is Crimes of My Fathers, which I know will fit nicely, but I still think Sins sounds better.

Also, I’m planning to draft book 4 and 5 back to back in hopes that they’ll come out close to each other. I’m not saying that book 4 is going to end in a cliffhanger, but it’s going to end in a place the reader won’t want to stay. I have several examples of other series in mind for comparison, but I don’t want to make the claim that it will be as good as those.

In the meantime, it’s back to the word refinery!

Debts of My Fathers is published at last

I finally pressed publish. Debts of My Fathers is released at last. The print version will have to wait another week or two since I found some formatting errors in the proof copy, but it’s not that far behind.

For now it’s still working through Amazon’s innards, but once I have an official page for it, I’ll update the links here.

Now I just need to figure out how to send email out to my mailing list.

Print proof is on the way

Just a quick note to say that I just now ordered the print proof of Debts of My Fathers from Createspace. I finished up all the cover work last night, and after almost 24 hours, they have blessed it, so I ordered it for Friday delivery.

I have some formatting cleanup to do on the ebook over the next couple of evenings, but things are looking good for publishing this weekend.

Cover 99% done

The cover is 99% done. I’m finalizing the back-cover blurb tonight, and that’ll be it. The print version is fully formatted, so I should be kicking all that off to Createspace tonight in hopes of getting a proof by Thursday or Friday.

The ebook is mostly formatted. I need to clean up a couple of things, but that should only take another few hours, so that will hopefully be done by the end of the week.

So, crossing my fingers, knocking on wood, turning around three times and spitting… the book should finally be out around this coming weekend.

Getting close on the cover

I’m getting pretty close on the cover. At this point, I have all the texture work done, but I’m getting some weird artifacts in the mesh when I enable bump maps. To heck with it — I can fix those in Photoshop by merging the two selectively. Anyway, here are the two versions. (The artifacts aren’t so noticeable at this scale.)

Anyway, the formatting is almost done, and I’m really trying hard to get it all out the door by this coming Friday the 12th. It’s close enough to feel it, so I’m actually giving the date. We’ll see if I actually hit it.

More texture work

I had to redo some of the UV work. The tails and boxes came out all right, but the main hull was split right-left which was causing a problem and the wings were all skewed, so I switched which kind of UV default to use for those parts. I’ve left the grid lines on for now to show what I’m working with, but they’ll of course be gone in the final. I should be able to make more progress tomorrow, but for now I’m calling it a night.

UV Texture coordinates

It’s not much to look at, but I finally cracked the UV Texture problem I’ve been having, and that’s been the major holdup to completing the cover.

Each of those different colored bits represents a different part of the texture map, and now that I have the map, I can add all the little details. On the cover to Ships, I simply hand painted them on in postwork, but that was only possible (for me) because of the orientation of the ship. In this view, I really need to get them into the texture maps.

WHICH I CAN NOW DO!!!

So I really should have this out soon. Maybe not this week, but I’m pretty confident that it’ll be this month.

Smarter Artist Summit, plus me in a kilt

I’m at the Smarter Artist Summit this week having a great time. I’d thought about wearing my kilt, but I didn’t want to freak Dave out. Still, a few folks asked me if I had Scottish heritage — which I do — because they could easily imagine me in a kilt.

Well, imagine no more, because here I am in a kilt:

As for everything else, yes I’m making progress on the cover, and I’m nailing down a few last formatting issues on Debts of My Fathers. I’d hoped to have it done before I came to the Summit, but it was not to be.